Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Pray

It has been a long time since my last entry. I definitely feel like I have been caught up in the hustle and the bustle of the holidays. There is always so much to do, what with the cooking, the cleaning, the parties and family visits. The shopping and the gift giving, the mailing of cards and packages, and the decorating. The list goes on and on.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and to feel like there aren't enough hours in the day for me to do everything I absolutely "need" to get done.  I have been a little obsessed and crazy and running in circles until....

Friday, December 14th rolled around.  I was working a full day at the spa, but kept seeing important news flashes pop up on my smart phone.  There was a shooting at an elementary school. There were many fatalities. My heart stopped. This brought me to my knees. Innocent lives were lost, and countless families and an entire community has been shattered. I kept pacing at the spa, keeping other employees who were desperately wanting answers updated as best I could. But there were no answers. There are no answers. There is only deep and painful loss. I know that every parent in America, every parent in the world... is feeling for these families. I feel it, and I so want to do something, anything, to help ease their pain. The only thing I know to do is to drop back down to my knees and pray. So I am praying with all of my might that these families can soon feel some comfort and peace. And I am praying that as a society, we can find a way to better love, respect, and protect each other. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Don't Even Think About Divorce Until...

I have been thinking a lot about divorce lately. Not because I am considering one for myself, but because I have several friends either going through one, or considering one. I think it has to do with the age we are now. Like many of my friends, I stayed home with my kids while they were growing up. Now that they are leaving for college or heading out on their own, the house feels empty, and it's easy to feel a little lost. And although I have no doubt that my husband loves our children as much as I do, his life is still busy and full... the same as it ever was. I don't think he can fully understand how I feel, and he certainly can't stop working to spend more time with me. I can see how this can cause some friction between a newly empty nested couple. 

I read a very interesting article in Redbook a little while back. It was titled "Don't even think about divorcing until...". In the article, 13 people talk about their belief in the marital system, and these steps they think are important to take before considering divorce. I thought it was worth sharing.

Don't even think about divorcing until...

1. ... you compare the cost of good marital therapy, and meaningful investments in your marriage, to the price tag of divorce. 
-Elisabeth J. Lamotte, couples therapist in Washington, D.C.

2.'ve done enough honest self examination to find out why you want  to divorce in the first place.    
-Elizabeth Lesser, author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

3. try touching. No talking required. Just touch in silence and be quiet.
-Hilda Hutcherson, M.D.  OBGYN and professor at Columbia University

4. let go of the fantasy that you're going to find someone who's perfect in all ways and your spouse is not.
-Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough

5.'ve considered that children often bear the scars and burdens of divorce long after parents have moved on and start over.
-Andy Bachman, Rabbi 

6.'re clear that you are making an examined, not rash, decision.
-Esther Perel, author of Mating In Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

7. stop and realize that your spouse might marry somebody who you have an issue with.
-Isabel Gillies, actress and author of Divorce Memoirs A Year And Six Seconds And Happens Every Day

8. consider that with the possible exception of permanent disability and long term imprisonment, there are few financial calamities more devastating than divorce.
-Ron Lieber, "Your Money" columnist for The New York Times

9. spend the next year treating your spouse as curiously, respectfully, and grateful as you would a mysterious stranger.
-Christina Nehring, author of A Vindication Of Love: Reclaiming Romance For The 21st Century

10. ... you have dealt with the fact that your marriage has concealed a whole host of your personal defects from public view, and everyone prowling around the single kingdom today has X-ray glasses.
-Liz Phair, musician and writer of "Divorce Song"

11. ... you've left no stone unturned and you've done everything you could do.
-Fran Drescher

12. can vividly imagine your partner kissing somebody else, and you don't care.
-Helen Fisher, PH.D Biological Anthropologist at Rutgers University

13. try writing down your thoughts and sharing them with your spouse.
-Jane McCafferty, author of the novel First You Try Everything, About A Couple Divorcing

My very favorite of all of these is number 9.  I have often joked with friends that we treat our spouses the worst because we know that they will love us anyway. I think it's good that we feel safe with our spouses, but these are the people we should be treating the very best. The people we should be investing in the most. This is something that I am going to try to remember.

Did any of these resonate with you? Which was your favorite?  Do you have one of your own to add? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Color Run

This past weekend, a few girlfriends and I ran The 5K Color Run in Sacramento.  It was so much fun, I thought I might share a few pics with you.  The one above is of us all clean and white, still in the parking garage before the race.

Glad my hubby was there to cheer us on, and take all these fabulous pictures.

Here we are, still clean, but heading towards the starting line.

Here is a look at one of the color stations we ran through.  There were several along the way of this run.  The color is powdery and tastes (impossible not to get some in your mouth) a little like cornstarch. Running through the crazy color stations made me feel like a kid again.  I enjoyed every messy station.

At the very end of the race, we all got color packets to throw into the air!

This is me, pretending to choke on the color.  Truly, I was having the time of my life!

Here's my fabulous running team... at the end of the race!

Love these girls to pieces.  We didn't let a little color stop us from going for a pub crawl down town, immediately after the race.  Such a fun day!  And we've since been inspired to take on another adventure.  We will be doing the Sacramento 5K Foamfest on September 8th.  It is a 5K obstacle course full of mud and foam.  

Who says exercise has to be boring???

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Color Quiz and Self Discovery

One of my favorite things to do is take those little quizzes online, or in the back of a magazine that are suppose to tell me more about myself. I am on a perpetual quest for self discovery. I like to learn anything about myself, ranging from my fashion sense to my best suited career choice. I am always trying to find my true passion, or calling.

Recently I took a very quick online quiz called The Color Quiz. By choosing colors that you find most pleasing, this quiz offers to tell you the following:

Your Existing Situation 

Your Stress Sources 

Your Restrained Characteristics 

Your Desired Objective

Your Actual Problem

I know that most of these quizzes are just for entertainment, but some of my results rang so true, I felt I needed to share some of it with you.

According to this quiz... 

My Existing Situation is that I have a deep desire to be respected by others in order to gain their trust and support for my own personal gain. Ouch, this sounds a little selfish. But then again, I can be a little selfish.

Here are some of my Restrained Characteristics:

I am demanding and picky in my relationships, but careful not to bring out conflict or disagreements and this may decrease my chances of achieving my goals and ideas. I know that sometimes my strong aversion to conflict has effected my life choices. 

I am emotionally demanding and will involve myself in close relationships but won't get too involved or give too much of myself. I've been accused many times by my friends that although I am a good listener, I keep a wall or barrier up, and don't let people get to close.

I am being forced to put happiness and pleasure on hold, due to my limiting circumstances. I have been feeling in limbo for a while now due to outside circumstances. *See how I was very vague there and didn't reveal too much of myself?  Hmmm...

Here's where I got confused. The results page listed My Actual Problem is that I am impressed by unique and one of akind things, and by people with exceptional personalities. I try to take the characteristics I like in other people and apply it to myself as well as come across as a unique individual. Where is the problem there? I'm a copy cat? 

Maybe one of these days I'll figure out exactly who I am, and what I want from life.  Or maybe life is supposed to be about that quest, and I should just enjoy the journey.

Do you love self discovery?  Want to take the quiz and see if some of your results ring true as well? Below is the link. If you decide to take it, share with me in a comment box. I'd love to hear from you.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Bucket List

I see so many people making a bucket lists for their upcoming decade, or even for their lifetime. I wanted to do this, but for some reason, it's way to overwhelming for me to come up with everything I want to do over such a long period of time. I settled on making a bucket list for this summer.

1. Attend more concerts in the park with my hubby. These are great concerts, and make for a fun and cheap date. We have friends that go as well, and it's always nice to spend time with them.

2. Learn how to make sock monkey's. Don't laugh, I've been wanting to learn this for a long time. My grandmother used to make them, and I want to carry on the tradition. I need to hurry up because my nieces and nephews are getting older, and I want to give them each one from Aunt TT.

3. Teach my teenaged son how to cook one meal. I think it's important for kids to know how to cook for themselves. Summer is the perfect time to start teaching him.

4. Play tennis with my daughter. We've both been wanting to do this, but we keep putting it off. It will be a great way to exercise without having to hit the gym.

5. Spend a long weekend with my cousin Kristen. She is coming to Sacramento the end of July. I want to find a quick/fun/cheap trip we can take, and have a little girl time.

Now this is a nice, easy bucket list that I think I can actually tackle. Summer is already halfway over, so I'd better get busy!  Leave me a comment and let me know your Summer Bucket List.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday

My friend Tracy @ Then I Got to Thinking asked fellow bloggers to post on what they are thankful for this Thursday. 

I know, she's ridiculously cute, isn't she?  
And just to really piss me off, she's just as sweet as she is cute.  (;

I'm happy to admit that I had trouble coming up with only one thing to be grateful for this Thursday. There are so many Blessings in my life. For today though, I am especially grateful for my handsome son, who will turn 16 years old tomorrow.  

I had a difficult birth with my son, that ended with an emergency C section. I had some dangerous blood clots, and it was a really scary and painful time. Because of this, I didn't bond in the hospital with him, the way I did with my daughter. I was so afraid that I wouldn't love him the way I loved my first. Turns out, that was a needless worry, because my son showed me how to take my love to an even deeper level.

As a baby, he already had an amazing sense of humor. To this day he keeps me laughing on a regular basis. He's witty and smart, yet not too cool to be silly and goofy.

He has always tried hard in school, and tried hard to please me and his dad. He has a vivid imagination, and he is very independent. As a child, he could play for hours on his own. 

My favorite thing about my son though, is that he is genuinely kind. In fact, I have never met a kinder person. It would crush him if he thought he hurt someone's feelings. He's the kid that wants to make sure everything is fair, and everyone's included.  I love this about him.

Even though he's now 16, and he towers over his mom... he'll always be my little boy.

Happy Birthday, son!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Northern California Blogger Meetup

What a wonderful turn out we had at the Northern California Blogger Meetup.  I met some really interesting people, and I'm so happy to have connected with them.

We had a lovely lunch at Sienna in El Dorado Hills.  Although we had plenty to choose from, everyone chose the pizza and salad combo.  Already I could tell we all had something in common.  (:

This salad was amazing!

Ashley enjoying the pizza while snapping some photos.  Now THAT, is a camera.

Our table got longer, and longer as more amazing women came to connect with other local bloggers.

Tracy, our hostess with the mostest, set up this fabulous candy bar so that we could fill up our mason jars and have a keepsake from the event.

Fellow blogger Jessica brought each lady a silk sleep mask to help us dream up more posts for our blogs.

While I had a wonderful time at the Meet and Greet, I think I have had just as much fun at home in front of my computer devouring these new and fabulous blogs I now have the pleasure of following.  If you write a blog, take advantage of any chance you get to connect with other bloggers in your area.  I have already learned so much from them, and can't wait to get to know many of them even more.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sacramento Blogger Meet and Greet

So very excited to be attending this event this weekend.  If you're a local blogger, please join us.  Watch for my post next week with details on this fun Meet and Greet!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fifty Shades

I think I am the last person I know to pick up and start reading the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James.  I have been feeling very left out of conversations about this pop culture phenomena.  I finally downloaded it, and read it completely.  I have to say, reading Fifty Shades of Grey, turned me fifty shades of red.

At first I felt flushed with excitement, then I became red from embarrassment, and finally I felt hot under the collar, feeling frustration and resentment.  I think I have gotten over that last part now.  I needed to remind myself that fantasy is not real, and people usually enjoy them so much because there is little or no chance of them becoming real.

The book started out just lightly erotic and I thought there was a nice build up of anticipation to the relationship of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey (both names that sound like they come from a book with Fabio on the cover).  Around chapter seven, it got into the more dark S&M side of Grey, and what he wanted from the unbelievably (really... so unbelievably) inexperienced Steele.  He needed to control her, and she slowly seemed to be enjoying this idea.  I'm sure, for some people reading the book, this is where it started to get exciting.  For me, other than a little morbid fascination, this is where I lost interest.

I wonder if maybe this is a younger woman's fantasy?  There was a day that I dreamt of a man similar to Christian Grey (minus the S&M).  He would sweep me off my feet, protect me, take care of me and provide for me.  I used to find that idea exciting.  I suppose, on that level, I can relate to the strong appeal many women are having to this book.  

Today though, at 42, I am so different.  I am much more attracted to the kind of man who treats a woman exactly as he wants to be treated.  And as for the sex... I am all vanilla.  For those of you who haven't read the book, vanilla sex is what Grey called the act of basic, mutual love making.  O.K., maybe I'm vanilla with sprinkles... but no more than that. 

Even though this book wasn't completely for me, I love it when a book blows up like this.  It gets people reading, and talking about it.  I'm happy that I read it, and I can join in the conversations.  I'm all about keeping an open mind, and hearing other people's opinions and views. 

There is one thing that I would love to know from other female readers.  If it turned out that E L James was a man, and not a woman, would you have enjoyed the book as much?  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

20th Wedding Anniversary

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 20 year wedding anniversary. 20 years. In some ways it feels like it has been every bit that long, and in some ways it feels like there is no possible way it has been that long.  

We were just 22 years old when we married. We were 15 years old when we met, and first fell for one another. He was so different back then, and most certainly, so was I. We have grown up together. I am so grateful that we have been able to appreciate the changes we have both gone through during this growing up period. I know that not all couples that marry young are this lucky.  It's true what they say, "You can either grow together, or grow apart.". I thank God on a regular basis that we have been able to grow together.

We have so much to celebrate this year besides this milestone anniversary. Our daughter turned 18, and is graduating from high school and moving across the country to go to school at the Florida State University. Our son is turning 16 years old next month, and will be driving (yikes!). These are all very exciting, yet costly celebrations. Because of this, we wanted to do something a little more affordable, but still so special for our anniversary. My husband found the perfect way to do this.

 We had dinner at the fabulous Mulvaney's B & L in downtown Sacramento. Mike frequents this amazing restaurant for work, and we are very friendly with Dan, the hilariously entertaining bartender that works there. They went all out for us. They set up a beautiful table outside with gorgeous candelabra's glowing with tea lights, and tiny appetizers that were to die for.


My thoughtful husband took a picture of my wedding bouquet into a florist, and had them replicate it for a gorgeous center piece. Very romantic.

The dinner and the bottle of wine they saved for us were both exquisite. Of course dessert is always my favorite part.

After this amazing dinner, we stayed at an adorable Bed & Breakfast downtown that we could walk to from the restaurant. It is called The Amber House.

While we were at dinner, they set up our room with rose petals, and champagne.

In the morning there was fresh coffee right outside our door waiting for us when we woke up.

They then prepared us the most delicious breakfast, that we decided to have at a small table out on the porch since it was a beautiful morning.  

It was a short little, one night honeymoon, and I loved every minute of it.  I feel like the luckiest woman in the world to have found this man, and I will continue to be so lucky if he will only look at me like this forever.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.  You make it so easy to love you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Blogger Award

This is such a great idea for new bloggers!  I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by a wonderful fellow blogger Jessah at Dreaming of Dimples.  Thank you so much Jess.

 Liebster in German means dear, beloved or favorite, and is for bloggers with under 200 followers.

The rules are as follows:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
5. Let them know you chose them by leaving a comment on their blog.

My choices for the Liebster Blog Award are:
1. Shannon Elise at Ironing Out Life's Wrinkles
2. Margie at Am I a mess?

Sorry that I only know two new bloggers.  I'm too new myself to know any more.  :)  Please check out their blogs if you get the chance.  Have a beautiful day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bunco "Tax Day" Party

Yesterday was April 15th... the dreaded tax day.  It also happened to be my turn to host our monthly Bunco group.  I decided to use tax day as a theme for the evening.  Bunco is a mindless dice game that 12 of us ladies play each month at one of our homes.  Although there are prizes to be won, it is really just an excuse to get together and have a few drinks along with a few laughs. 

The gorgeous ladies of Bunco!

When each lady walked into the door (we actually had 2 men subs last night as well), they were taxed their normal $10 to play the game.  In return they received a small satchel of coins as a tax refund.  They used these coins to pay tax on various items and services throughout the night.  There was a tax on their dinner plate, each drink they ordered, every time they needed to use the restroom and every time they scored a Bunco.  At the end of the night, the person with the most money left, and the person with the least amount of money left won prizes.  Pevonia skin care products for each of them.

Uncle Sam 

Uncle Sam serving drinks, and taxing guests

Mingling before dinner

Since I was "broke" from paying my taxes, I served a very frugal dinner.  We had fried bologna and onion sandwiches, mac and cheese, and salad.  Most of the girls had never tried the fried bologna before.

Tracy's not too sure, but being very brave and trying fried bologna

Cake pops for dessert

"The Bank Statement" was the drink of the night

Next it was time to get down to some serious game playing.  Actually, there's nothing serious about it.  Just a lot of fun. :)

Look who scored a "Bunco" and was a good sport to wear the Bunco crown!

Such a great night, with such a great group of girls (and 2 wonderful guys).  Big props to my hubby aka Uncle Sam, who was the life of the party.  It's no wonder why I love that man so much.